BY ALYSSA RAMER
Social inferiority is something I struggle with all the time, and it affects my self-esteem.
This is partly because I experienced being a type of “social outcast” throughout my educational career.
There is a significant difference in bullying versus treating others as socially inferior. Bullying is teasing, physical abuse and peer pressure, whereas feelings of social inferiority come from being ignored or treated differently because of aspects of character. Sometimes bullying can cause it.
In fourth and fifth grade, a kid that I liked made fun of me in front of his friends.
Little comments by people I loved most made me feel so socially inferior. Something that sticks out in my memory is sitting on a sink in the girl’s locker room of a YMCA.
I was 12, on a trip with friends. I was informed that I wasn’t the type of girl the guy I liked would date. There were lots of girls there apparently that he would date, but not me. For years after that I was just a side note, ignored as naive and childlike. This is just one example of many.
After the number of quotes about the heart, friendships, etc. posted on Facebook, it occurred to me that this instance bothered me more because it had to do with my heart.
Even in college I have experienced social inferiority, and though it’s not with the people I care about, it still hurts. I deal with judgments that I’m either too old, or young and naive. I believe that people should be treated equally even if we don’t agree on lifestyles.
What good does it do to act this way?
Anti-bullying policies are now in place in schools, and I can appreciate the change, but like others, I agree that it’s not all that is needed.
I have heard many times before about kids whose parents rely on the school system to teach their kids everything, including how to treat others, and that those parents should be more involved.
An argument has been made before that these policies are enough, and that fighting social inferiority itself at our time in life would be difficult if not impossible. I agree that in college it is hard to change people. We need to change ourselves when it comes to how we treat other people.
We need to analyze what we say and how we say it. This is obvious, but we don’t do it. I am reiterating what has been parsed out over and over, but I believe it to be true. We have to change ourselves to change others.
Ramer understands that change is not easy, and readily admits that she is not perfect either.